BMI is just a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. BMI is not a diagnostic tool.
BMI is not a direct measure of body fatness and that BMI is calculated from an individual's weight which includes both muscle and fat. Highly trained athletes may have a high BMI because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fat.
I think most people who are overweight or obese already know it. The results of the BMI test really shouldn't be a surprise.
current weight: 147.8
Fitness Minutes: (90,628) Posts: 6,044 10/26/13 4:14 P
"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."
~ Earl Nightingale
Pounds lost: 67.4
Fitness Minutes: (180,361) Posts: 1,988 3/24/13 7:48 P
bmi is just a ballpark for non-athletes. I appear to be more fat than I really am when using a bmi chart because I have a large frame and easily hold onto muscle in my legs. My actual ideal weight is closer to the upper end of what the bmi chart lists as ideal.
Anyway, that's why I use tape measurements and don't worry about bmi; though I do admit I liked when it quit telling me I am obese....and technically I still am since obese is medically defined at 20% over ideal weight (which makes most overweight people obese too).
I have to agree that many of the people pictured fell within their categories. There were a few labeled overweight who looked OK, but nearly every one of the persons labeled obese or morbidly obese were very clearly obese.
I don't have a problem with the terms fat, obese, etc. I think we need to own up to what we are and decide what we are going to do about it. Right now, I am on the BMI borderline between overweight and obese. I don't feel good about my condition, especially since I am 10 lbs heavier than I was six months ago, none of my clothes fit right, and, most importantly, my physical fitness has declined.
If someone is obese and feels good about it, doesn't have any health consequences, has a positive body image, is able to function well, then more power to ya. The problem is very few people in the obese category feel good. Even if you ignore the body image issues, most obese people lack energy, have trouble with movement, have sleep apnea, are working on a case of diabetes, etc.
We need to focus on fitness of our minds and bodies. You can be fit and overweight, perhaps even fit and obese. But if your mind and body are not functioning well, it doesn't matter where you fall on the BMI scale.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin
I think people forget that the BMI is a "ballpark" tool that covers _most_ people correctly.
People with small bone structure come up "low," and people with large bone structure come up as "heavy," but they're usually still in the healthy range. The BMI is targeted at a medium bone structure (the usual).
My ideal BMI (which I haven't seen since before child #2 was born) is about 19-- medium height, but small bone frame.
Some of the overweight people shown there WERE overweight... but not by much. And the first picture marked "underweight?" I'm afraid I agree. Not dangerously underweight, but pretty darn bony. It doesn't help that so many movie and TV actresses are underweight these days (it tends to skew our sense of "ideal").
The goal is to be at a healthy weight, and look good. You don't have to be movie-star good!
One day at a time...
Pounds lost: 4.5
Fitness Minutes: (180,361) Posts: 1,988 1/7/11 10:52 A
I must have missed those photos. I only saw people who looked exactly like their labels. When I started this caper I was obese. I could have got upset, but I chose to get healthy. I now have a normal BMI and am in the best shape of my life. Some people make different choices. BMI is one of a number of indicators of health. I am aware of others, such as waist size...supposedly 94cm is the magic borderline figure for men. As my pedometer calculates BMI for me I'm happy to keep following it on more or less a weekly basis. I get the measuring tape out once a month and do the waist measurement. I find BMI a useful concept, AT LEAST FOR ME, so I use the tools that are available. In the end I'm only responsible to this lovely body of my own.
I've got to admit, the set of pictures on the front page aren't as representative of Kate Harding's point as some of her earliest photos. Basically, she's trying to illustrate that BMI is a bad measure for health. And while I agree with that to some degree, it's really worst on the borderlines where very muscular or very tall (but not overweight) people end up with "obese" range BMI's or where people who basically just need to lose 20 pounds and look "normal" get tagged as "overweight" or "obese."
Harding is a proponent of the "Healthy at Any Size" movement, which at it's core is not a BAD idea. It's just that the movement gets undermined by people who really believe that being morbidly obese is just as healthy as being normal NO MATTER WHAT YOUR LIFESTYLE IS. Maybe for some people that's true, but it isn't true for me. I'm not healthy at my size - I can't breathe! And frankly, for me at 260+ pounds with a BMI near 40, the BMI or any scale is quite correct that I am morbidly obese.
What I DO like about the movement is the idea that we are all worthy of respect.
Sorry, hope I didn't soapbox here, I didn't mean to!
"Being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant
"We expect these things to change by waking up, and suddenly there they are." - Toad
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